Japan Decides That Maybe It Should Make Search Engines Legal
from the not-a-bad-idea dept
There have been some questions lately about whether or not search engines today are actually legal. Some have expressed the opinion (as ridiculous as it may sound to some of us) that a search engine is effectively violating the copyright of every website it indexes. It seems dumb, but there are still some (such as a bunch of newspapers in Belgium) who feel otherwise. In the US, at least, Google has a pretty good fair use defense. However, it appears that under Japanese law, search engines technically are big time copyright infringers -- though, it doesn't seem like anyone has filed a lawsuit over this. Basically, as written, the law states that the search engine needs to first get permission from a copyright holder before indexing their site. Luckily, some in the Japanese government figured out that it's probably for the best if they amend the laws to allow search engines that can search without obtaining permission from every site. Nice to see some copyright laws changing in the proper direction (and doing so without ridiculous lawsuits first).